Lewis Hamilton has slammed Vettel for breaking safety car rules during the Azerbaijan GP, as he tried to slow the field down until the first corner in order to prevent drivers at the back to take advantage from his tow.
Vettel was constantly stopping and starting in order to keep the cars behind him guessing, something that didn’t go down very well with Hamilton, who immediately informed his team that what Vettel was doing wasn’t within the laws.
“The rules are, when the safety car goes, you are not allowed to start, stop, start, stop,” said Hamilton.
“You’re not allowed to gas, and then brake. You’re not allowed to fake the guy behind, because naturally if there was not that rule, that’s what you would do.
“You’re not allowed to do that. You’re allowed to weave, but you’re not allowed to start, stop, start, stop.
“Every restart I’ve done, particularly the four that I did last year, I didn’t do that, and I abided by that.
“In Australia, Sebastian accelerated and then braked, I nearly went up the back end of him. And today he did it maybe four times.
“I suppose I need to speak to Charlie, because I don’t fully understand. As far as I’m aware, I think Charlie passed it on to the stewards, and the stewards didn’t do anything about it.” he added.
Whiting however saw nothing wrong with what Vettel had done on the race track, as the rules allow the leader to set the pace. He just has to stay away from making any dangerous move.
“I think he controlled it very well,” said Whiting.
“It’s up to the leading driver to say when we go, unlike some other series that have what they call an acceleration zone, a place, a 300-400m zone where you can accelerate, you can’t do it before that, you can’t do it after that.
“But once it goes green, which we had, the safety car comes into the pits, all the light panels go green, then it’s up to the leader to decide when he’s going to go.
“This is a very tricky place, because they catch the safety car very quickly if they go too early – we saw that in F2 last year, or the year before. I think Seb did control it very well.
“There was a little bit of a complaint from Lewis that he was not going at a constant rate, but if you look down the field, there are quite a few places where that happens.
“To expect them all to go at one speed just doesn’t seem to happen. So as long as no one does anything that’s obviously dangerous, then I think we’re happy with what happened and I think he did control it rather well.” he concluded.